In the four short years of its existence, OpenAI has become one of the leading AI research labs in the world. It has made a name for itself producing consistently headline-grabbing research, alongside other AI heavyweights like Alphabet’s DeepMind. It is also a darling in Silicon Valley, counting Elon Musk and legendary investor Sam Altman among its founders. Above all, it is lionized for its mission. Its goal is to be the first to create AGI—a machine with the learning and reasoning powers of a human mind. The purpose is not world domination; rather, the lab wants to ensure that the technology is developed safely and its benefits distributed evenly to the world. OpenAI wants to be the shepherd of artificial general intelligence, and it has carefully crafted its image to fit the bill. But three days at OpenAI’s office—and nearly three dozen interviews with past and current employees, collaborators, friends, and other experts in the field—suggest a different picture.
There is a misalignment between what the company publicly espouses and how it operates behind closed doors. Over time, it has allowed a fierce competitiveness and mounting pressure for ever more funding to erode its founding ideals of transparency, openness, and collaboration. Many who work or worked for the company insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak or feared retaliation. Their accounts suggest that OpenAI, for all its noble aspirations, is obsessed with maintaining secrecy, protecting its image, and retaining the loyalty of its employees. Click the link in our bio to learn more about the messy, secretive reality behind OpenAI’s bid to save the world. Photos from @christiehemmklok #openai #artificialintelligence #ai #artificialintelligenceai #siliconvalley #agi #artificialgeneralintelligence #technology #technologynews #technews #techreview #technologyreview #mittechnologyreview - 5 minutes ago